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First, quick impressions on the Head Supershape i-Magnum, a GS-like carver 2013 ski from Head.  I am not really qualified to review this ski properly, as I have not been on a race-like carving ski for quite a few years, my current quiver starts from 98mm width, so I am much more used to drive a wider ski.   Still, I leaped at the opportunity to take this ski for a spin and I hoped that early morning conditions at Squaw would provide enough groomers to run the ski through its paces.  Unfortunately, it got warm pretty fast, so I did not encounter any bulletproof stuff.   On whatever hard groomed surfaces I could get the ski held like glue.  it took me a couple of turns to adjust to the tail feeling, and from that point on it was just pure fun.   This ski wants to go fast.  I had to get down to the base area in a hurry to make my daughter's ski team award ceremony, it was still morning, the Mountain Run was empty, so I just pointed it.  Pretty soon I was feeling angry at the wind resistance.  I don't usually go that fast, but there was no chatter, no instability, I was locked to the edge , and the ski felt totally damp and solid.  It felt like it could easily go twice as fast (Damn you wind resistance!).  The angles that I was able to get on that ski felt amazing, much better than on all my fatties, I was almost scraping my butt on the snow at times.  The ski preferred longer to medium radius turn, there is solid tail that is fun to use at the end of the turn. Short turns were also fine, but took more work while longer turns were effortless.   I think is a testimony to the quality of the ski that someone who is totally unaccustomed to carving skis was able to just hop on and have fun after 30 seconds of adjustment. The construction felt super-solid with lots of metal and lots of weight, that ski should be burly enough for everyone.    So the i-Magnum is a rocket, but with a kinder gentle side to it.  



Next, 2013 Nordica Helldorado.  After lunch I switched from the Supershape to the Helldorado, which a 2013 ski from Nordica that Jim described as Patron with metal.  Solid sustantial ski at 113 mm underfoot with good amount of tip and tail rocker.   There was not much fresh snow at Squaw, so the conditions ranged from windbuffed snow on top, to some patches of blown-in fresh, changing to dust on crust and just plain refrozen or softened crud at the bottom.  Mostly ugly snow.  After spending the morning on the Supershape, the Helldorados felt like a pair of saucers attached to my feet, but that feeling quickly went away as I readjusted to driving a wider ski.  This is a typical Nordica ski in the "ski me if you can" mold.  The Helldorado just does not respond to timid driving or relaxed cruising, pretty bland unresponsive ride.  Once I took a deep breath, got on the front of my boots and got aggressive the ski came to life.   What a riot, the ski crushed everything I threw at it, super-solid, unflappable.  I was taking more aggressive lines that normal,  and I took some small airs in the middle of the line without hesitation.  As long as you drive the ski from the tip, it is easy to change the turn shape, the ski is burly, but not planky, the ride is aggressive, but refined, smooth, and solid.  It is definitely one of the better crud skis I have been on. I hit some breakable crust patches on this ski, it just bulldozed them, pretty impressive,  Nordica nailed the tip shape and flex on this one.    Overall, great charger.  This ski also refused to slide or slarve, it gets on the edge and rides it through the whole turn, so sloppy technique would not be rewarded.   On the negative side, it does take energy and input to get the ski to ride, so I wont be able to last the whole day on it.  Indeed, after 3 hours I started to feel tired.  The ski still behaved fine, but I just was not getting the same level of excitement I felt earlier.  Overall, this is one of the better skis for a heavy aggressive expert (at least from what I tried).  No speed limit, versatile enough to work in most conditions, with that width and rockered tip and tail it should float well.  Just make sure to eat your wheaties to drive it.  P.S. I really like the simple black graphics.